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Captain's Bio

Christmas letters sent home to family from Africa give a sense of what life what like there. For many years my nickname was "Sage.".

Christmas Letter 1971

Hello there, friends and family,
It's Christmas time again! Every year we think, "Well, we'll never top the one that passed" and yet we always do.

For the first time in a long time we are writing this letter from the USA. Sage resigned from Catholic Relief Services in February, but stayed on till July. A book could easily be written about the first half of the year alone.

In April Sage finally got to direct a full-length play for the Dakar Dramatic Society - "The Waltz of the Toreadors." It was so well received that an encore was put on at the American Ambassador's residence. It left Sage with a few more grey hairs, though.

Movies took over as a family passion with the acquisition of a Film-O-Sound system. "Jungle Clarence" was one epic that ranged from wild forests full of elephant, hippo and bagoons down crocodile infested jungle rivers to a palm-fringed beach on the Atlantic. Part of the movie was made on the set used by 'Southern Star", starring Ursula Andress (who was unfortunately away at the time). Another masterpiece recorded a 300-mile trip on an ancient riverboat up the Gambia River.

In June news came that signaled great changes in the King Family's future. AVENIR, an organization of development specialists formed by Sage and some friends, was officially incorporated in the State of California. Sage was named president and given the responsibility for making it work. pThe family left Dakar in July, and after visiting with Gloria's parents in Detroit off it took in a VW camper for three weeks of roughing it across the country to Los Angeles. In northern Michigan the kids swam in a lake for the first time, and in St. Cloud, Minnesota the whole family slept in the street for the first time. Well, actually it was inside the camper on the stree and it wasn't so bad. Pushing on westward like the old pioneers the Kings paused in the Badlands of South Dakota and went on the explore the Black Hills. They saw plaster dinosaurs, a cave, one live bison, and a full-scale replica of the Flintstone's home town.

A leisurely sweep was made through Boulder, Colorado and Colorado Springs and then came a mad dash for the Tetons and Yellowstone. Bear, moose, elk, Old Faithful, and crystal clear air made for great memories. Idaho had lots of potatoes and blackberries along a riverbank, but eastern Oregon is best forgotten. Central Oregon, however, was fantastic. Especially Crater Lake. It was too cold to stay long, so the Wanderbug (our christened vehicle) went downhill all the way to Eureka, the foggy Pacific, and the awesome redwoods. Following the coast through San Francisco, Monterey, the Big Sur, the Wanderbug finally came to rest at the home of Sage's mother in Los Angeles.

Chris, Pierre and Dion started school in L.A., Sage went to the Thunderbird Graduate School to get his Master's, and Gloria, poor thing, went to work as a dietitian to support them. But we are happy. Have a beautiful Christmas!

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Copyright 2002 by Serge King
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